Caring for your Geriatric Pet
Senior Pet Nutrition
One of the things that people often ask us about their senior pets is what should they eat. The pet food industry has done a good job marketing specific diets to the senior pet demographic, and yet, just because your pet has reached a certain age doesn’t mean that a general “senior” pet diet will be right for him or her. In fact, many older pets do best on traditional “adult” food long after they’ve hit that senior age bracket.
Compassionate Pain Management in Geriatric Dogs and Cats
Agreement is easily reached that preservation of quality of life is the primary goal during the final months and years of our pets’ lives. Based on our practice, we believe that the daily life experience of our elderly patients improves if their pain is lessened. Alleviation of pain requires recognition of pain, followed by attempts at modification of pain. Ultimately, treatment is shaped over time by evaluation of response to therapy.
Sensory Loss in Aged Pets
Just like you and me, our pets can lose hearing or vision in their golden years. Dogs and cats often can compensate well with these losses, partly because they rely more heavily than we do on their other senses like smell. But smell can be another sense that weakens with age.
Quality of Life (QOL) and Euthanasia
Most pet owners want the best life possible for their pets for as long as possible. In late geriatric pets, our focus often falls on maintaining good Quality of Life.
Geriatric Dogs and House Soiling
As your dog ages, health changes can lead to lapses in house breaking. This is a frustrating problem for both you and your pet. It’s important that senior dogs receive regular physical exams and that house soiling issues are appropriately evaluated and addressed.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)
It is a wonderful and emotionally rich experience to feel our hearts open to our pets during their senior years. So often, providing special care and support to an aging pet deepens and intensifies the human-animal bond.